Tokyo 2020 unveils kinetic sports pictograms

Tokyo 2020 has unveiled its official Olympic and Paralympic kinetic sports pictograms, the first time in the history of the Games that these have been created. There are a total of 50 pictograms covering 33 Olympic sports. Their innovative designs aim to reflect the modern era symbolised by the year 2020 and enhance spectator enjoyment of events, both at venues and via TV broadcasting.

Static sports pictograms were first introduced at the Tokyo 1964 Games, and arose from the need to communicate visually with an increasingly international group of athletes and spectators.

The Tokyo 2020 sports pictograms, unveiled in 2019, are designed to subtly communicate the characteristics and athleticism of each sport, and to artistically highlight the dynamism of the athletes. The new kinetic equivalents honour the legacy of past Olympic and Paralympic Games, while emphasising that Tokyo 2020 will be the most innovative Games ever.

In order to reproduce the original pictograms dynamically, the Tokyo 2020 kinetic sports pictograms appear as a series of three movements: appear, static, and disappear. Japanese motion designer Kota Iguchi oversaw their development.

“For the first time in the history of Olympic and Paralympic Games, we have taken on the challenge of animating the sports pictograms. It took more than a year to create them, with input from so many people helping us add movement to the static pictograms, which were developed by a team led by graphic designer Masaaki Hiromura. The new kinetic sports pictograms will broaden the appeal of each sport by means of their beautiful and more easily conveyed expressions. I hope that they will brighten up each of the events and, while they are a creation of the Tokyo 2020 Games, I hope they will be passed on to future Games as a legacy for the future, as well as inspiring video designers in other countries,” said Kota.

Tokyo 2020 pictograms
Picture by Tokyo 2020

The kinetic sports pictograms will be used to depict individual sports at competition venues and during the broadcast of events.

They will also be used on the Tokyo 2020 website and social media channels, as well as featuring in digital signage, with the aim of showcasing some of Japan’s more innovative technologies to the world.


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